I’d like to share an awful experience I've had with Dreamhost:
I’m a web designer doing a site for a client and I decided to use Dreamhost for web hosting. In November 2006, I setup a 2-year prepaid hosting account (crazy domain insane) in preparation of an e-commerce website launch that would take place in the next few months. At that time, Dreamhost requested that my client do a pencil rub of his credit card and fax it in to prevent fraud… a little hassle but no big deal. The payment was accepted and the account was activated.
After Nov 06, design and development of the website took place and was completed toward the end of Mar 07. The site was finalized and ready to go live. Many people had been told about the launch of the new site which was to be a primary source of revenue for my client.
On March 30, 07, I went to upload the website, and to my shock the domain wasn't active and the hosting account wasn't working. I logged into the control panel and noticed that the account was "pending approval" and an amount of $71.40 was owed. This was odd, because the account had previously been approved and activated. I emailed support and was told that the full balance on the account had not been paid, and that a remaining balance of $71.40 was owed. What they failed to mention is that Dreamhost, when they received the credit card rub, charged the incorrect amount on the card, paying for only 1 year of hosting instead of 2. Neither of us was informed of this error, and only when the site was ready to go live was I even aware that the account was deactivated. I told my client about the problem and he agreed to pay the remaining balance.
I logged into the control panel to pay the amount, but couldn’t, because the panel gave me a message saying something to the effect of, “one-time payments can only be made on accounts that are enabled.” Again, I emailed tech support asking them what was going on, and if they could just charged the remaining amount to the card on file to expedite things. 4 and a half hours later I received another email telling me the account status was changed to pending and that the remaining amount could be paid with Google Checkout (they ignored my request to charge the card on file). I used my client’s credit card info and paid the remaining $71.40, thinking the site would be up shortly after.
I waited a day, and the site did not go up. I sent an urgent support request asking what in the world was going on. Then I received a message the next day saying that the billing manager has to verify our Google payment. I then sent a long email explaining my situation and was told the account should’ve been automatically activated but wasn’t. The tech support guy replied back, apologizing for the situation and telling me he had activated the account and that the domain should be up shortly.
A day later the domain still wasn’t working. I logged into the control panel only to find a message saying that the domain wasn’t hosted with Dreamhost, when in fact it was registered originally in Nov 06!! I emailed tech support AGAIN and hours later I'm told I HAVE A NEGATIVE BALANCE ON MY ACCOUNT! WTF!!!??? I log into the control panel and it now says the account is pending approval $119.40 must be paid before the account is activated. Are you kidding me???!!! I emailed tech support yet again (this is the 7th time) and will have to wait even longer to get a reply.
This hosting account was supposed to be up in November 2006. It is now April 2007 and it still isn’t working.
This makes me look VERY unprofessional.
This makes my client look VERY unprofessional.
My client has lost significant revenue because the site is still not up.
This is the WORST EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD WITH A COMPANY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I've never written a story like this but this experience has been so unbelievably awful that I had to vent it publicly. Please beware in advanced before you choose to go with Dreamhost.